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9th Grade
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Mark AguirreDP
9th Grade Humanities

Mark has been teaching Humanities at High Tech High since 2001. He began his teaching career at Point Loma High School and Scripps Ranch High School. Raised in the small town of Fillmore, California where his family raised oranges, Mark is the oldest of ten children. He graduated from Cal State-Chico where he received his bachelor’s degree in history, with the focus being on Classical Civilizations. In 1987, he earned his teaching credential from San Diego State. Mark has three children- Joshua a postman in Denver, Jacob a contractor in Lake Havasu and Jessica a student at Smith and two grandchildren. His passions include playing poker, reading books about classical history and listening to be-bop jazz.

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Amilio AvilesDP
9th Grade Physics
Amilio was born and raised in San Diego. He went to traditional schools but always dreamed of a school like High Tech High. He got his bachelor's in Aerospace Engineering at MIT and followed up with a Masters in the same at UCSD.

Amilio worked for 8 years as an engineer focusing on unmanned systems and "drones".  He worked in civilian and defense industries; at large companies and small start ups.  All the while, he volunteered doing international development projects and science labs with local schools.

After years of teaching science informally to all age groups, Amilio was thrilled to have the opportunity to join the team at High Tech High. He brings his love of science and engineering and a passion for helping people.


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Taya ChaseDP
9th Grade Math
Taya Chase grew up among the redwood trees in Humboldt County, northern California. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a minor in Art from San Diego State University in 2011. She worked in the San Diego Superior Courts for several years before pursuing her Teaching Credential in Mathematics from SDSU.

Taya is excited to start her second year of teaching in the HTH community. She has a passion for Math, Art, Social Justice and the great outdoors. When Taya isn’t teaching, she can be found hiking or camping in the most remote locations of San Diego.
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Brian DelgadoDP
9th Grade Math/Physics
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Christopher Nho
9th Grade Math
I will be teaching calculus this year to seniors at High Tech High.
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Juli RuffDP
9th Grade Humanities
Juli has been teaching Humanities at High Tech High since 2007. She began her teaching career while working with the Peace Corp and living in Armenia. Since that point, she has taught in many different settings, including a boarding school for gifted artists, the swamps, rivers and Everglades of Florida on canoes, a public school in northern Idaho, and a private school specializing in students who like to throw themselves off of large jumps on skis and snowboards, and then twist their bodies in flips through the air, usually landing upright. Juli received here bachelor’s degree from Saint Mary’s College in English and art and her teaching credentials in English, art and social studies from Lewis Clark State College. Taking after her grandfather, Juli is a hobby person, and recently built a classical guitar, started a vegetable garden and spends great amounts of time with her husband and wonderful Golden Retriever.
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Mike StrongDP
9th Grade Humanities
After graduating from Holtville High School in Holtville, CA (The carrot capitol of the world), I attended Point Loma Nazarene University right here in San Diego where I ran track & field and cross-country for 4 years. After realizing that being a music business major wasn't helping my rock star career, I graduated with a B.A. in literature, a minor in music and a girl that said she would marry me. I earned a teaching credential at PLNU and finished my student teaching at High Tech High International where I taught 9th grade in 2005 before moving to High Tech Middle Media Arts.  I taught 7th grade Humanities at the middle school for six years before moving to THE High Tech High. I enjoy fishing, writing, playing in a rock band, tinkering and coaching track and cross country for the High Tech High Schools.

My wife, Sarah, is a 12th grade math teacher at HTH and we live in Clairemont with our beautiful kids Poema and Canon.
10th Grade
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Adam BorekDP
10th Grade Humanities
Adam is a perpetual student with a natural curiosity for the world around him.  After graduating from Pennsylvania State University with a B.S. in Economics, he worked in large scale steel construction management.  Steel allowed Adam to collaborate on many unique engineering projects, including aircraft carriers, submarines, and even the substructure of the largest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere, One World Trade Center.

Considering himself an experiential learner, Adam’s diverse employment background helps shape his educational philosophy.  From his first job as a mechanic’s assistant at the age of fourteen, he worked as a mason, welder, firefighter, arborist, rock climbing instructor, construction manager, and restaurant manager.  One common thread has been integral to Adam’s lifestyle since his teenage years, and that is working with young people.  From providing underprivileged children with opportunities to experience the outdoors in Philadelphia to coaching and mentoring here in San Diego, Adam has enjoyed helping young people experience and learn about the world around them for the last thirteen years.  He is proud to call his love of teaching and learning a career here at  High Tech High.

Climbing, surfing, and exploring are Adam’s passions outside of school.
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Michael ChinDP
HTHPL - 10th Grade Math / Chemistry
Michael Chin graduated from UCSD with a major in Chemistry and a minor in Secondary Science Education. In his senior year of undergrad, he was introduced to the High Tech High Schools through student teaching 10th grade Chemistry at High Tech High International. The following year, he continued on site as the 12th grade Academic Coach before transitioning into pursuing his M.Ed. in Teaching & Learning through High Tech High's Graduate School of Education. During the past academic year, he taught 10th grade Chemistry at High Tech High North County as he worked towards his Preliminary Single Subject Teaching Credential for Science.

Michael decided to pursue education during his second year in college after discovering how fulfilling and meaningful investing in others could be. By serving as a “Big” in his club on campus and working as a Peer Mentor for the Triton Freshman Scholars Program, he realized he had a passion for teaching and assisting students from under-served backgrounds succeed in college. Through his coursework as part of the Education Minor at UCSD, his eyes were opened to the vast inequities that are present in the our country's school system and he desired to make a difference in these communities.

These past three years working in the High Tech Schools have greatly impacted his view of how education can be structured through the lens of hands-on and collaborative learning. His aspiration for joining the TAP program is to learn how to foster a classroom environment in which rigorous science coursework can be supported by equitable, project-based, and anti-racist practices. To learn more about this view, please read his teaching philosophy that is linked below.

Outside of the classroom, Michael is an avid K-pop fan, a board game fanatic, a video game enthusiast, and a big sweet tooth. He spends most of his free time on the things listed above or finding new places in San Diego to eat with his friends. His first home was Queens in New York City, but after being raised in the East Bay Area near San Francisco, he moved to San Diego for his undergraduate degree. He fell in love with the city and beauty of San Diego and decided to settle down here as he grows in his practice. He is looking forward to applying what he has learned next school year as he begins teaching 10th grade Math full time at the Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs High Tech High.
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Glenn Evans
10th Grade Spanish
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Lisa GriffinDP
10th Grade Humanities
Lisa Griffin jumped at the opportunity to teach at High Tech High in 2015, after 20 years of teaching and leading in Oakland and San Francisco in arts education, outdoor education, classroom teaching, and teacher education.  She has traveled through New England facilitating the creative collaboration of teen theater artists, led backpacking trips on and around Mount Lassen, supervised and worked on high ropes courses, and has facilitated far too many icebreaker games.  In her recent work in Deep East Oakland at Elmhurst Community Prep, she worked as a reading specialist and instructional coach for middle school history teachers, while serving on the Instructional Leadership Team.  She is honored to have extensive training and coaching from over ten years in collaboration with the National Equity Project.  In the Spring of 2015, she taught Adolescent Psychology to English credential candidates in the Graduate School of Education at UC Berkeley.  In addition to her co-designing and collaborative work with teachers and students at High Tech High, Lisa also mentors teachers and teaches Secondary Reading Methods at the HTH Grad School of Education.  She is inspired by students' creativity and courage; she loves to combine her passions for literature and history with projects that incorporate performing arts and themes of social justice, storytelling, and international collaboration.

Though she was born in San Diego, Lisa moved every two or three years of her life, so San Diego was only “home” for kindergarten and college (at UCSD), as well as her annual summer vacation destination to visit extended family.  She is thrilled to be back and to live near her parents and in-laws.  She is always looking out for new students, knowing that experience all too well.  She lived up and down the West Coast, in Michigan, in the Philippines, and in Ireland during part of college.  She has been impacted personally by two revolutions, having witnessed the People Power Revolution in the Philippines, and having traveled to Berlin, Germany, the year the Berlin Wall came down.  When she is not at school, she is the happiest swimming in the ocean and doing creative projects with her husband, Koichi, and their two sons, Kane and Ando.
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Andrew LerarioDP
10th Grade Chemistry
It is my 10th year teaching at HTH. After graduating with a BS in Chemistry, I worked in industry for 3 years primarily as an environmental wet chemist. Seeking a more interpersonal edge to my career, I decided to try my hand at teaching, and it is a decision that I am grateful to have made. Although my initial plan was to pursue a graduate degree in Chemistry, teaching quickly became a passion. Instead, I obtained my educator credentials in both Science and Math and later acquired my Masters of Education in Teacher Leadership from the HTH GSE.

​My current focus as an educator is to work with and dream big with colleagues about how we can push the boundaries of what we can achieve in education. This has led me to develop an ever increasingly inclusive classroom where individual effort is the focus. My practice grows through a collaborative effort with my class - as I work to bring out the best in my students, they inspire the best in me.
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Molly Poole
10th Grade Math
11th Grade
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Margaret EglerDP
11th Grade Humanities
I grew up in Long Beach and on my parents' avocado farm outside of Fallbrook, where my family spent weekends building a home without using electricity or running water -- thankfully they have both now! I spent four freezing years in Connecticut studying American studies (an interdisciplinary major focusing on history, political science, and literature) at Yale. Inspired by my college experience to explore the world, I moved to Washington D.C. and worked for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan for a year, spent a year as a substitute teacher, and then traveled internationally for a year. When I returned to California, I spent three rainy years in San Francisco earning my J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

A week after graduating from law school, I married my husband Tom, also a newly minted lawyer, and moved to that overlooked jewel of a city, Pittsburgh. I clerked for a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Homesick for my family and the avocados, I convinced Tom to move to San Diego. I practiced labor and employment law for several years before immersing myself in community, non-profit and educational pursuits, including serving as the founding advisory board chair for the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego, the president and board chair of the Junior League of San Diego, and the board chair of Explorer Elementary (now HTeX).

I am a graduate of the HTH Teacher Credentialing Program with credentials in English, Social Science, and Inclusion. Tom and I and our three children (two HTH grads who are in college and a HTH student) live in Point Loma with our two dogs and two cats.
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Pat HolderDP
11th Grade Humanites
Pat Holder is originally from Los Angeles, CA and has resided in San Diego since 2005. When he is not teaching Humanities at HTH he is likely spending time with his family, camping in baja or working on his house.
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Peter JanaDP
11th Grade Humanities
I’m a San Diego native who was educated at San Diego State University and the Claremont Graduate School. One of the highlights of my life as a student was living in Paris, France, where I had the opportunity to study the language and meet a wide variety of people from around the world. I have also taught on deployed Navy warships as a community college instructor. I currently teach 11th and 12th grade humanities at The Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs High Tech High and classes in reading and writing methods and the philosophy of education for the HTH credentialing program. My interests include music, reading, travel, cinema (including HBO series!), and spending leisurely Sunday mornings with the newspaper.
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Kalle PalmerDP
11th Grade Biology
Kalle has been teaching at High Tech High since January 2016. She made her way to teaching when she realized the most rewarding and enjoyable aspects of her previous work environments was working with and teaching teenagers. Kalle brings with her a rich multi-disciplinary background which includes nearly eight-years in the event planning industry proceeded by four years of research and work in aquariums, as a scientific diver, SCUBA instructor and grad student. She continues her research assessing World War II cultural heritage sites as artificial reefs in the Pacific Ocean during summer breaks.
Kalle received her B.A. from the University of Washington School of Architecture and Urban Planning with a Major in Community, Environment and Planning and Minors in History and Finnish Language. Kalle has a Meeting and Event Mangement Certification from the University of Oregon. She returned to school after years in the event industry to receive an Certificate in Aquarium Science from the Oregon Coast Community College and received her M.S. from the University of Guam in Environmental Science.
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Jordan Sipes
11th Grade Math
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Jesse Wade-RobinsonDP
11th Grade Biology
Jesse has been teaching at High Tech High for the past 15 years. At High Tech High, she has built submarines, solved crimes, and made discoveries about heart disease with her students. Jesse currently teaches Biology and supervises internships.

Jesse a proud Banana Slug, Aztec, and Triton. She received her bachelor’s degree in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from UC Santa Cruz, her teaching credential from San Diego State University, and her Masters of Arts in Education from UC San Diego

Jesse loves teaching and learning and is passionate about science, education and creating positive change in our communities. She spends much of her free time exploring these passions. Jesse recently started the Stem Cell Core Facility at High Tech High where students can experiment on live mouse cells in order to better understand and treat disease.

In her spare time Jesse likes to surf, swim, run, read, and spend time with her family.
12th Grade
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Lucera Gallegos
12th Grade Art
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Tara Samuels
12th Grade Physics
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John SantosDP
12th Grade Environmental Science
I've been fortunate to call High Tech High my home for over 10 years now. It has been incredible to be part of the meaningful, relevant project based-learning that has gone on at our schools. Exploring the sciences with students is one of my strongest passions and project-based learning is fundamental to my teaching philosophy. In addition to learning from our immediate community of educators, I've had the chance to collaborate and learn from the most progressive, inspirational, inventive educators around the world during my time as an educator. I look forward to collaborative work that lies ahead…
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Sarah StrongDP
12th Grade Math
Sarah Strong is entering her tenth year teaching for the High Tech organization and her second year at High Tech High! For her first 6 years, she worked at High Tech Middle teaching 6th grade math/science. In her seventh year, Sarah got the opportunity to support math organization-wide. She taught one year at High Tech High North County before landing at High Tech High last year.

Raised in the SF Bay Area, Sarah moved to San Diego in 2001 to attend college. She graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University in 2005 with her BS in Mathematics. She went on to get her teaching credential from PLNU as well. She was a member of the inaugural cohort of the Teacher Leadership Program in the High Tech High Graduate School of Education and she completed her thesis on the use of open-ended math problems in 2009.

Sarah has a daughter, Poema Grace, who is 5.5 years old and a son, Canon David Lawrence, who is 4. Sarah loves the beautiful outdoors and one of her favorite places is Yosemite where she goes every summer. She also loves running and has competed in three marathons and nine half marathons! This summer Sarah celebrated her nine year anniversary with her husband, Mike, who teaches ninth grade humanities at HTH. They are very happy to be a part of the High Tech Village and can sometimes be seen after school coaching and running with the High School Cross Country and Track teams!
Academic Support
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Dylan Bier
Academic Coach
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Joyce Chen
Education Specialist
A true California native, I was born and raised in Los Angeles - I love sunshine, beaches, and a mild temperature between 68 and 80 degrees, preferably with a crisp ocean breeze. After doing some university hopping, I received my BA in Communicative Disorders from California State University Fullerton and relocated to San Diego. I currently have a MS in Special Education from National University, and a MS in Learning Design and Technology from Purdue University.
Working with students is incredibly rewarding, and is truly the best part of the job. My goal is to help students discover their passions and strengths during their schooling. Outside of work, I enjoy traveling, maintaining an active lifestyle, dabbling in aerial arts, and trying new restaurants.
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Genevieve De Kervor
Academic Coach
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Natalie Gates
Academic Coach
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Shawn OluwaDP
Student Support Coordinator

My childhood was filled with a lot of traveling. Although I was born in Boston, Massachusetts, I grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Upon my elementary school career, my family, of African descent, returned to Nigeria, West Africa, where I completed elementary school,  junior high, and senior high before returning back to Brooklyn, New York.
In the fall of 1998, I joined the United States Navy where I served on numerous expeditions. After my successful tour in the Navy, I moved to the Midwest and attended the University of Wisconsin - River Falls. In the fall of 2004, I moved back to San Diego and transferred to San Diego City College. While I was pursuing my Associates degree, I got accepted into California State University - San Marcos. I graduated with both my Associates and my Bachelors in the summer of 2006 with my focus in psychology. In the spring of 2010, I completed my Masters in Psychology with an emphasis in Crisis Management and Response from Walden University.
My interests are listening to music, coaching soccer, exercising, dancing, reading, hiking, baking, cooking, and spending time with my lovely wife, our two amazing children, Yankee (our dog), and our 'wannabe dog' cat, Diesel.

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Jamie Senescall
Inclusion Specialist
I was born and raised in Minnesota (land of 10,000 lakes!) and graduated from the University of Minnesota, studying ​Sociology​ and Spanish. While in college, I studied abroad in Toledo, Spain ​and enjoyed being fully immersed in another culture. Upon graduation, I taught English abroad in​ Ecuador through the program called WorldTeach​. ​There I ​taught at a small university in Loja and ​feel grateful to have had the opportunity​ to travel, teach, and learn​. After my year abroad, I decided to ​make another move to San Diego. I have been ​out on the west coast for ​five years and love it!

Education has always been a passion of mine. I've worked​/volunteered ​at several International Schools in Minneapolis​, mostly supporting English Language Learners. ​ This will be my​ third year working within the High Tech High Community and I ​feel extremely lucky and ​honored to be here. ​ I started at ​HTHMA as an ​academic ​coach and was able to see first hand the benefits of inclusion. As an Inclusion Specialist, my goal is to ​create a safe, supportive, and welcoming environment for successful learning​. ​ ​I look forward to working with all of you!

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”​ - ​Albert Einstein
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Michael Shear
Apprentice Education Specialist

As the 11th grade Inclusion Specialist, I'm making it my goal to prepare my Juniors for the outside world by helping them to actively develop contingency plans, as well as encouraging them to explore future college and career options.

I've been called the Wade Wilson of teaching because I believe in readying my students for their future reinforcing ambition, communicating clearly and including humor in every challenge.

I was born in Central New York, and spent the first 20 years of my life there. While in New York, I attended Onondaga College and Syracuse University: Newhouse.

In 2000, I moved to San Diego, and attended San Diego State University while working full-time as an editor at Marcoa Publishing and the VGO Network. I graduated with a double major in Journalism/English and a minor in Comparative Literature, as well as a certification in CDIS/American Sign Language. I have worked in San Diego school districts for the last 8 years, and am beyond excited to make High Tech High my new home!

When I'm not in school, you can find me at the archery range with my 80# compound bow (Vera) and my 45# recurve (Velma). I enjoy board game nights with friends (Betrayal at House on the Hill, Gloomhaven and Dead of Winter are faves!), watching hockey (GO GULLS!), training for the next Spartan race, hiking and getting mileage outdoors when properly baited--a bag of dried bacon usually does the trick! 

I also read compulsively, binge watch TV shows and have a media library of movies and video games from Atari through the Nintendo Switch! We’re currently playing Borderlands, Rad, Morphie’s Law, Don’t Starve and Zelda: Breath of the Wild. 

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Ryan Urie
HTHPL - Education Specialist
Ryan is a Tenth-grade Inclusion Specialist at High Tech High Point Loma. He is a San Diego native who graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelors's in American History. Ryan ran Cross Country and Track at Syracuse University and now coaches at Cuyamaca Community College. He has his Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction Design at the University of San Diego and graduated with a credential in Special Education and Social Sciences.
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Jemille Vialet
Substitute Teacher
All School
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Andrew GloagDP

Hello! I am Andrew Gloag, and since August 2019, I am the director of High Tech High.  I was born and raised in a small town in North England. In 1989, I attended Oxford University to study physics, later moving to Glasgow then Birmingham for Doctoral and Post-Doctoral work. I moved to San Diego in 1999. In 2001 I became aware of a fledgling school called High Tech High and slowly became involved in the work of the school. I trained for my California Teaching Credential in 2004 and started teaching at HTH soon after. I have taught Physics, Engineering, Chemistry, and Math at all 4 grade levels and have two children enrolled in the school: Nadia in 12th grade and Peter in 9th. My youngest son, Jack, attends High Tech Elementary and is in 4th grade.

I am honored to be given the role of director here, and I strongly believe in providing our students with an engaging and rigorous project-based educational experience, giving them the opportunity to learn alongside experts in all fields – from Comic Books to Oceanography, Theater to Rocketry, Astronomy to Carpentry.

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Marcus Bell
Dean of Students
Marcus has over 20 years of experience working with urban youth at the Middle school and High school levels. In Cambridge, Massachusetts, (his hometown) he worked as a Counselor, where he helped supervise and develop activities for teens and pre-teens at risk. Soon after he went on to become a Youth Counselor Coordinator and then an Administrator for Student Affairs at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School his Alma Mater. He loves listening to all kinds of music -- from Rock to Soul to Rhythm and Blues. In his spare time he also enjoys hiking, skydiving, bicycling, cooking, going to the movies and walking his jack russell terrier Nomad.
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Vanessa Martinez
Site Manager
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Stephanie Antin
Community Engagement Specialist
Stephanie is an LA native who spent 15 years in television news and won multiple Emmy awards. She founded her first company in 2004 and then started her own marketing company in 2016. Stephanie specializes in brand awareness and engagement through social media for schools and non-profits.

Stephanie's three children have grown up in the High Tech village and she is thrilled to be a part of the team! In her spare time, she loves to travel, practice yoga and paddleboard.
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Misty Bonta
Mental Health Therapist/Clinician
Misty Bonta is the SANDCASP Past President and serves on the CASP Board. She is a Licensed Educational Psychologist (LEP) with over 12 years of experience working in various educational environments. She has served as a Teacher, Administrator and School Psychologist and possesses extensive experience in elementary, middle, and high school settings.  Her specialty is working with children who have severe emotional, behavioral, social, and academic needs and building/maintaining strong collaborative relationships with staff, teachers, students, and families. She is a proven leader with a demonstrated ability to be a change agent for students, schools, districts, and the field of School Psychology. Misty has been a professor at Alliant University and currently works at High Tech High and High Tech High Media Arts. Her life passions include health, love, music, art, food, culture, animals, travel, and trying to make this world a better place one day at a time.
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Eduardo Gallardo
HTMPL IT Director
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Joseph Hicke
IT Director
Joe started at HTH in June of 2007. Joe has worked in the IT Industry for over 10 years. He has done technical support for the Navy and Marine Corps Help Desk, been an IT Director at Lowes Coronado Bay Resort, tested software at Intel and been a Work Flow Manager with Managed Solution, a local IT Consulting company. Joe is a graduate of Coleman College and holds an MCP as a Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician and a COMPTia A+ Certification. Prior to entering the IT Field, Joe worked in various aspects of the automotive repair industry.
Joe has 2 sons, one who graduated HTH in 2008 and one who graduated from HTHMA in 2009, so he has been around HTH for quite a while. He has lived in San Diego for most of his life, spending a year in Oregon and 1 ½  years traveling the US in a motor home with his family - getting to all 48 contiguous states. Joe thoroughly enjoys his position at HTH, and the many students who stop by his office to chat. When not working Joe enjoys boogie boarding, attempting to learn to surf, dancing, traveling and auto racing and sailing
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Shameeka Lewis
School Psychologist
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Jessica Morris
Mental Health Intern
Jessica Morris- Associate Professional Clinical Counselor (APCC)
Jessica grew up in Potomac, MD, moving to San Diego in 1996. In 2009, after deciding she was ready for a career change, she went back to school to pursue a degree in psychology. She completed her undergrad at San Diego State University, earning a B.A. in Psychology. She went on to receive her M.S. in counseling from SDSU’s Community-Based Block (CBB) Multicultural Community Counseling & Social Injustice Education Program. Jessica has worked as a mental health counselor with students at High Tech High, High Tech High International and High Tech High Media Arts since 2018, while interning for Desert Mountain Children’s Center.
Jessica likes to stay active. She played soccer and lacrosse in college and coached the girls Varsity Lacrosse team at Coronado High School for 19 years. Her favorite vacation spot is lounging on the beach in the sun and she can often be found paddle boarding, kayaking or swimming in the bay. She loves food, (particularly frozen yogurt), music and occasionally binge watching a good show. Jessica lives in Coronado with her husband, stepdaughters, and cat Sylvester. 
She is excited to officially join the HTH community and is looking forward to meeting her colleagues. 
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Nicholle Wyatt
Director of College Advising
Hi everyone!!  My name is Nicholle Wyatt.  I grew up on an 80-acre farm located outside Portland, Oregon.  A first generation college student, I attended Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon where I was a nationally ranked handball player (it's like racquetball, but you use your hands) and graduated with a Mass Communications degree.  After three years serving as a college admissions representative there, I went to the U of San Diego where I earned my MA in School Counseling while working in their Undergraduate Admissions Office.

Prior to coming to HTH, I was the Head College Counselor for 19 years at Academy Our Lady of Peace (OLP), where I met my husband -- who also works there (a Spanish teacher).  During my tenure at OLP, I kept my hand in the college admissions field by working as an Admissions Reader for UCSD for 12 years and currently for UCLA the past 9 years.  I also served on the Board of Directors for the National Catholic College Admissions Association and was on the Local Advisory Committee for the National College Counseling Conference held in San Diego in 2015.  I have been on the National College Fair Committee for over 18 years and am the WACAC SLC-San Diego Conference Chair.

For the past 4 summers, I have served as an Admissions Coach for USC's Bovard Scholars Program -- a 3-week residential program that works with high achieving, rising seniors from under-resourced schools and I match them with top-tier universities while walking them through the college application process.  In 2019, I was named the Lead Admissions Coach -- a position they created for me!

In my free time, I enjoy playing and coaching sports (my 9 year old daughter, Natalie, plays soccer, softball and golf -- basketball is next!!).  Fun fact:  I'm a HUGE Disneyland and Portland Trailblazers fan.
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Judy Zapien
EL Coordinator
I am Judy Zapien and I am originally from Southern New Mexico/El Paso, Texas. I received my BA in Political Science from UT El Paso and my MA in Education with a specialization in Special Education and a Minor in Spanish Linguistics from New Mexico State University. I contribute to the High Tech High community my personal experience, knowledge, compassion towards building community, collaboration, learning, and growing.  My family, that is including my immediate loved ones live in New Mexico and in El Paso, Texas.  I often get a craving for New Mexican food so I make sure I visit during our vacation times.

I taught in the Inclusion and Special Ed Resource Settings at Gadsden High School in the Valley of Dona Ana County in Southern New Mexico and in the evenings I would teach adults ESL at the NMSU/DACC College.  For the past six years I have fulfilled the  Emerging Bilingual Specialist role at High Tech High.  While I am very happy to sponsor the MEChA organization, I also coordinate parent engagement community outreach to our Latino Spanish Speaking communities.

In my spare time, I enjoy singing with the classical masterworks with FUMC Masterworks Chorale and for the chancel Choir.   I love my doggie, "Cuernitos". I love exploring new walking and strolling spaces in and around the San Diego and Coronado.  I am fortunate to have a significant other who is also a professional musician and a guitar/ukelele teacher.   I am receiving voice lessons under the direction of Soprano, Diane Alexander in her Coronado studio, while I am preparing my voice to prepare for more professional choirs and or roles sometime in the near future.

Here is a little of me singing on my youtube channel:

In Song,